Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

When More is Better

Most cells in the body have two copies of each chromosome. But some cells,
including the sub-perineurial glia cells (nuclei labeled green) encasing this larval fruit fly brain
lobe, have an increase in DNA copy number. By studying cells like these, Whitehead Member
Terry Orr-Weaver investigates how and why cells increase or decrease copies of their DNA.

A scientific community exploring biology's most fundamental questions for the betterment of human health

Bartel Lab: Exploring small RNAs that regulate gene expression

Cheeseman Lab: Examining the kinetochore’s role in chromosome segregation and cell division

Fink Lab: Identifying the function of genes involved in intractable fungal infections

Gehring Lab: Studying epigenomic reprogramming during plant reproduction

Gupta Lab: Studying mechanisms that control cellular diversity in normal and cancerous tissues

Jaenisch Lab: Pursuing patient-specific pluripotent cells with which to study complex human diseases

Lindquist Lab: Exploring the ways protein folding determines an organism’s biological properties

Lodish Lab: Elucidating the mechanisms and modulators of red blood cell development

Orr-Weaver Lab: Studying DNA replication, chromosome segregation, and meiosis in the context of organismal development

Page Lab: Shedding new light on sex chromosome biology and evolution, the fetal origins of gametes, and infertility

Ploegh Lab: Elucidating the immune system’s response to invading viruses and bacteria

Reddien Lab: Investigating the cellular and molecular basis for regeneration

Sabatini Lab: Investigating the complex roles nutrients, cell growth, and metabolism play in aging and disease

Sive Lab: Using zebrafish to study vertebrate brain development and the genetic basis of human mental health disorders

Weinberg Lab: Deciphering the drivers of cancer cell invasion and metastasis

Weng Lab: Studying plant metabolism and its link to complex disease biology

Young Lab: Mapping the regulatory circuitry that controls cell state and differentiation in mice and humans


Whitehead Institute Colloquium invitation

Whitehead Colloquium

The Whitehead Colloquium, held each fall at the Institute in Cambridge, is the signature event for members of the Board of Associates (BOA).  The event features keynote addresses by our faculty, laboratory demonstrations, and first-hand updates on the latest in biological breakthroughs. This year’s event is moderated by Tom Ashbrook, host of NPR’s On Point from WBUR Boston.


Diagram of antiparallel beta-sheet structure of the enzyme catalase:

October 8, 2015

Enhanced-sensitivity NMR could reveal clues on how proteins fold

Until now, it has been difficult to fully characterize the different structures that proteins can take on in their natural environments. However, using a new technique known as sensitivity-enhanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Whitehead Institute and MIT researchers have shown that they can analyze the structure that a yeast protein forms as it interacts with other proteins in a cell.


Whitehead Institute exterior

Tenure track faculty position

Whitehead Institute and Department of Biology at M.I.T. are seeking an outstanding scientist for a tenure track faculty position at the Assistant Professor level.


Please consider making a gift to Whitehead today

Whitehead Institute relies heavily on philanthropy to maintain its pioneering programs in cancer research, immunology, developmental biology, stem cell research, regenerative medicine, genetics, and genomics. Gifts from individual donors, foundations, and corporations directly support Whitehead scientists pursuing breakthroughs that are transforming our understanding of biology and accelerating the development of therapies for a host of intractable human diseases.

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